HOME > Chowhound > Austin >
What's your latest food project? Get great advice
TELL US

Habanero's Mexican Cafe

s
scrumptiouschef Jun 4, 2007 12:31 PM

The drunk Mexican ladies at the next table cackle wildly as the waitress wends her way through the Friday[post happy hour crowd].On MPH's rec I'm preparing to feast at Habanero's Mexican Cafe on Oltorf.The table salsa is ok,it really reminds me of Rosita's but not quite there in terms of heat....heavy Cilantro content and completely pureed with no distinguishable ingredients.I ask for a Green salsa and my perpetually smiling server delivers one post haste...it's ok,not tomatillo based as one might imagine but pureed chiles,onions and yes, more cilantro.I figure on a pretty good wait as the joint is rocking so I order a queso which comes quickly and is good...reminiscent of Janitzio's in terms of appearance[smooth,yellow,thin]but not in the same realm as far as quality goes...good but not a heavy hitter.I've completely forgotten what MPH's faves are so I order a two taco[Carnitas and Barbacoa]platter figuring they'll hit at least one out of the park[I ask and am informed that the flour is homemade and the corn is brought in].The Carnitas are of the roasted variety and are good,slightly stringy but not bursting with fat[as is my preference]....dressed simply with lime and chopped white onion there are other versions in town I prefer.The Barbacoa,too,was good.It was slightly dry and not of the wet,fatty stripe which I love.The beans[refried pintos]had no measurable bacon-y flavor and were a bit dry.The Rice was a standard version[is there a drop dead plate of Mexican rice in this town?].I've eaten at Habanero's in the past and it was ok...it did not penetrate my consciousness to the point where I was compelled to return[during writing this piece I did a little research and discovered I should've ordered the beef fajita...dropped the ball old school speed limit....].Would I return?Yes,the service was great,fast and friendly,the food was good and the atmosphere was full-on party.Next visit I'll hone in on the Fajitas and see what all the fuss is about.

  1. j
    jwynne2000 Jun 9, 2007 10:10 AM

    Just returned from an impromptu lunch at HMC. I ordered the beef fajitas ranchera - which is the beef fajitas on a sizzling plate with sliced onions, tomatoes and jalapenos. The beef was very close to excellent - nice tender texture and spiced just enough to allow the beef flavor come through. The mesquite flavor was also there, but not overpowering. The veggies on the plate are all fresh and raw (i.e. not pre-sauteed).

    The rice was passably good. The charro beans were very good - with nice pieces of bacon and jalapenos.

    and for $7.50, I was very pleased with the whole thing. Thanks for the recommendations, once again!

    2 Replies
    1. re: jwynne2000
      rudeboy Jun 9, 2007 10:54 AM

      For those who seek the heat, they will do the fajitas with habanero peppers. Order several beers.

      1. re: rudeboy
        MPH Jun 10, 2007 12:57 PM

        I'm glad to hear you enjoyed the fajitas rancheras at Habañero Mexican Cafe, jwynne2000. I fondly recall my first bite of them as a great Austin chow moment. I bet that rudeboy's tip will make the fajitas taste even better, to those who prefer them really hot.

        I thoroughly enjoyed your review, scrumptious. Your posts always do a great job of conjuring up the scene. As you probably figured out from my old posts, the fajitas rancheras and the grilled lengua are my favorite dishes on their menu—so far. I still need to try their breakfast fare. If I get my chance this week, I'll be the one ordering breakfast with a lengua taco on the side.

        Best,
        MPH

    2. Nab Jun 4, 2007 06:10 PM

      I kept wincing as I read through your post, since you happened to pick the things I'd tend to avoid at HMC. It's good that you're willing to give em a second chance, because I think the fajitas are worth it. I actually tried the guisada recently as well, and it was one of the better ones that I've sampled (but still not outstanding - i'm still trying to find a great guisada). And the lengua is great. Heck, I don't need to tell you what's good there, you already know now, and jeez, you know there are plenty of MPH reports out there on what to order.

      1. c
        chucklesmcfarland Jun 4, 2007 05:24 PM

        Too bad they close at 3 on Sunday or I'd also have a review...

        Show Hidden Posts